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  • (2024-03-17) Comments on proposed forest stewardship plan for Johnstone Strait portion of TFL 47

    Robyn Budd
    To: Jennifer Peschke, RPF
    Cc: Lesley Fettes RPF, Campbell River District Manager; Chief Ronnie Chikite, We Wai Kai First Nation 


    Thank you for the opportunity to share these concerns with TimberWest and the Ministry of Forests.

    I am deeply concerned about how logging aggravates climate change, which both accelerates biodiversity loss and increases forest fire hazard. 

    Your proposed “forest management” plan which includes the Johnstone Strait portion of TFL 47 says: “…given the current scientific understanding, it is not yet possible to make reasonable quantitative predictions about the impact of climate change on timber supply. Therefore, the base case will not include specific accounting for climate change projections.”

    This position is not tenable. It’s too late in the day to hide behind “the-science-isn’t-in” arguments, especially when BC’s Premier David Eby recently identified short-term land management prescriptions as driving large-scale collapse of ecosystems and the exhaustion of our forests. 

    I understand that BC’s AAC projections made 20 years ago had been halved by 2023, a decline that the Ministry of Forests attributes to insect infestations and forest fires. Both these factors are driven by climate change. Why won’t TimberWest reduce the rate of cut in TFL 47 as a precautionary response to these well-documented impacts? It seems irresponsible and short-sighted.

    So too would be the continued use of glyphosate in cutblocks harvested under this FSP, in order to “establish a free growing stand” – ridding a cut block of all deciduous trees and shrubs perceived to interfere with mono-crop tree plantations. The science has been proven outdated; and the requirement itself conflicts with the BC government’s recent directive to foster biodiversity and ecosystem health.

    Climate change is resulting in extended periods of drought, higher seasonal temperatures, and longer seasons of extreme fire weather – and these conditions together are creating ever-larger forest fires. Factor in the impacts of glyphosate on red- and blue-listed plant species, and the resulting reduced populations of fire-resistant deciduous trees, and a perfect ecological crisis is unfolding around us.      

    The rate of cut in the Johnstone Strait portion of TFL 47 should immediately be reduced to mitigate these known dangers and address the current climate crisis. A revised FSP needs to be created that acknowledges in detail the logging practices that have destroyed ecosystems and caused species loss and increased forest fire activity – all while reducing forest employment and highlighting raw log exports. Then – in the sense of a true Forest Stewardship Plan – publicly detail the measures needed for a genuine course correction. 


    Robyn Budd 

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